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PeaceChurchCommunicationsManual2018_Fial Upload


VOICEMAIL & E-MAIL GUIDELINES Voicemail and e-mail are an important part of communications at Peace Church. We need to make sure we’re being clear, polite and helpful in all ways possible, including in this way. THE BASICS Check your mailbox at least once a day and respond within hours to a request. If you are on vacation or will be unable to respond in a timely fashion, either set your out-of-office message on e-mail (record a new message on your voice mail) or make sure someone else is responding to your e-mails. Reply to every message that originates from a person. Delete general solicitations and advertisements. When reading e-mails, please read the entire message. It’s very easy to skim an e-mail, miss an important detail, and then ask the sender a question that was already covered in the original e-mail. Fully reading all e-mails will save time and reduce confusion. FORWARDING/REPLYING • When forwarding e-mails for a response, make sure that person will be able to respond in a timely fashion. If not, send it to someone else if possible. • If you don’t receive a response within a week from the person you forwarded it to, telling you they responded or will respond, send it again to make sure it didn’t fall through the cracks. • Never forward e-mails to or distribute personal e-mails. Always use a church e-mail address. • Always include a phone number when telling someone to call, and include an e-mail when asking someone to e-mail a staff member. • Always include a web address link when sending someone to a specific part of the website. • Use staff titles in e-mail responses. For example, “Ryan Kimmel, our Pastor of Family Discipleship, will respond to your question as soon as he can.” • Do not hit “reply all” when there’s an e-mail that gets sent out to a ministry team. This wastes time for staff and volunteers. If you want to respond to the original sender, make sure you just hit “reply.” • Please do not add any backgrounds, fancy fonts, or bright colors to your e-mails. Using simple black text and a clear signature are professional and will make your e-mails easier to read. GENERAL • Encourage people to attend Membership Classes if they want to know more about us. It is the best place to learn about the mission, vision, and values of Peace Church. They’ll also learn about all the opportunities available to them. Check the calendar for the next meeting time. • Don’t try to be a counselor. Instead, forward on to a pastor like Adam, Ryan, or Ken, depending on the request. It’s not your job to have all the answers. It’s your job to connect them with someone who can answer their questions. • Be clear and concise when writing e-mails to staff or others. Proofread your e-mails before you send them, or have someone else do so. If your e-mail is long and confusing, it will just waste time because you’ll end up having to write it again. VOICEMAIL AND E-MAIL GUIDELINES 26

• Don’t respond to an e-mail in anger. If you are offended by an e-mail, take some time away from it and respond later. Or talk to someone else for advice on how to handle it, rather than replying something that you may regret later. • Include a simple signature in your e-mails: Jim Bowerman Communications Director Peace Church 616.891.8119 ext. 106 REMEMBER • You may be the first and only contact that someone has with Peace Church. • Your goal is to connect people directly with a resource, not necessarily just another person. Avoid the middleman. E-MAIL RESPONSE TEMPLATES When responding to e-mails, this is a sample library you can use to help you with some basic requests that people send in. AUTO REPLY MESSAGE This message is automatically generated the first time someone sends a message to This is an auto-response to let you know we have received your message. Someone will respond to you within 36 hours. If you need a more immediate reply, please call us at 616.891.8119 during our regular office hours of 9:00 AM–4:30 PM, Monday through Thursday. Thank you for contacting Peace Church. PRAYER REQUESTS This message is automatically generated the first time someone sends a message to Thank you for your message and your concern. I have forwarded your message to (name and e-mail of the person you forwarded it to) on the prayer team. Please keep them informed with any updates to your request or answered prayers. GENERAL RESPONSES General responses for things such as: address changes, library/resources, class registration changes, general comments or criticism, prayer requests, small groups, weddings/funerals, etc. Thank you for your email. I’m sending your question(s) to [name and e-mail address], our [title of staff member]. He/she handles [topic]. If you don’t hear from him/her in response to your question(s)in the next several days, please feel free to get back in touch with me. ANONYMOUS COMPLAINTS I appreciate your time in writing this note, but we don’t respond to anonymous messages. If you’d like to call the church and talk through this with someone, feel free to do so at 616.891.8119. VOICEMAIL AND E-MAIL GUIDELINES 27